The early years of the second decade of the 21st century has heralded a paradigm shift in the workforce demographics, throughout the world. It was estimated that by 2014, nearly 63 million Gen Y employees are expected to enter the workforce, while the number of Baby Boomers in the workplace will dip to fewer than 48 million. (Source: Solheim, Shelley, “7 Strategies for Recruiting Generation Y Workers,” CRN, June 21, 2007.) The considerable rise in the number of Gen-Y personnel is forcing companies to reorient their training programs, in order to make them suitable for this younger generation.
So, how can you satisfy the learning needs of staff members belonging to this tech-savvy generation? Well, you need to focus on the following aspects to formulate a winning training strategy for your “screenage” personnel.
Making learning mobile
Chelsea Clinton rightly remarked that millennials recognize mobile phones can do a whole lot more than make calls, enable texting between friends or tweeting. This generation is highly adept at the use of mobile devices and do not wish be “tied” to desktop computers. Several companies have realized this fact and are actively implementing mobile learning solutions. These are ideal for Gen-Y workers because they prefer anytime, anywhere learning.
Going the “social way”
Most Gen-Y workers prefer to learn by interacting and sharing information with others, rather than learn in isolation. This generation of employees loves to use social networking sites such as Facebook. Companies therefore have to ensure that social learning is given a prominent place in their training strategies. By harnessing the power of social learning efficiently, organizations can tap the full potential of millennials.
Breaking the barrier between work and play
Traditionally, play and work were viewed to be in two different silos. However, this distinction is slowly losing its relevance. The typical Gen-Y learner wants to have fun while learning. Organizations can equip their millennial staff with the needed knowledge and skills, in a highly effective manner, through gamified online courses. A well-designed gamified digital course creates a stress-free learning environment and imparts training of very high quality.
It is now possible to develop online courses that satisfy the learning needs of Gen-Y workforce effectively, in quick time, at low cost, thanks to the advent of rapid authoring tools. Rapid authoring software such as Articulate Storyline, Adobe Captivate and Lectora Inspire can be used to publish courses to HTML5, a format highly compatible with mobile devices. Modern rapid authoring tools can also be used to develop gamified digital courses.
Understanding the learning needs of the Gen-Y workforce and satisfying them efficiently goes a long way in enhancing organizational performance and thereby improving the bottom line. What do you think? We’d love to hear your views.